Shrink-wrap recycling available for boaters in Queen Anne’s, Anne Arundel

ANNAPOLIS — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Clean Marina Initiative and the Marine Trades Association of Maryland are expanding their shrink-wrap recycling program directly to boaters in Queen Anne’s and Anne Arundel counties.

This will allow boaters who keep their boats at home in these counties to join the recycling effort.

Previously, shrink-wrap recycling efforts were targeted only to boatyards and marinas, which continue to participate in the program.

The expansion is coordinated in partnership with the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners, Plastic Free QAC, West Marine, the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works and Fawcett’s Boat Supplies.

While supplies last, residents of Queen Anne’s County can obtain a free required recycling bag — courtesy of the county commissioners — at the West Marine store in Chester, Rommel’s Ace Hardware and Refill Goodness in Stevensville, and Centreville Town Hall.

Resident boaters in Anne Arundel County can purchase a recycling bag for $15 at West Marine stores in Annapolis, Edgewater, Tracy’s Landing and Glen Burnie and Fawcett’s Boating Supplies in Annapolis.

Bag fees cover the hard costs of dumpsters, hauling, baling and recycling the material.

Boaters will receive detailed instructions on how to prepare the wrap properly, and where to take their bundle for recycling.

Key to the success of the project is boaters removing all straps, bands, zippers, doors and vents from the shrink-wrap, as even one of these will contaminate the whole load.

Shrink-wrap is not accepted in curbside recycling and must be taken to special dumpsters provided just for those with the special recycling bags.

Bags will be available while supplies last from early April through May 31 at the participating locations noted above.

In 2023 the program collected and recycled 65,000 pounds of used shrink-wrap.

More information and instructions are available on the DNR Clean Marina website, https://dnr.maryland.gov/boating/Pages/cleanmarina/home.aspx

The Clean Marina program reminds boaters to “Think Before You Shrink,” and consider a reusable cover instead of shrink-wrap next fall.

Reusable covers last for many years and, in most cases, compare to the cost of having the boat professionally shrink-wrapped two or three times. Using these covers prevents tons of single-use plastic waste.

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